Swappers We Love: Sustainable Fashion Guru Karen Housel

Karen Housel Sustainable Daisy

We’re so excited to launch our new interview series called “Swappers We Love.” Each post will feature a different rockstar swapper and sustainable fashion guru! Naturally, we’re starting with the one and only Karen Housel. As a former EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) employee, and currently an EHS (Environmental Health and Safety) specialist at Universal Studios, it’s safe to say that Karen has her facts straight about mother earth. In addition, she is the brains behind the popular sustainable fashion blog, Sustainable Daisy, so she understands the importance of style as well. We’re more than grateful to have Karen as a supporter of Swap Society!

"I love supporting women-founded businesses, especially within sustainable fashion."


What was your style like growing up?

I have always been attracted to color and floral. Although I may try to focus on basics, there’s something about a floral patterned trouser, let’s say, that gets me weirdly excited. These are the kinds of treasures that ignite my curiosity to explore the limits of what I can pull off. Secondhand fashion has been the playful arena in which I’ve been able to casually and affordably dabble in the “what ifs” of my fashion sense.


Who influenced your relationship with fashion the most?

As a younger sister, I received a ton of hand-me-downs. My personal style really depended on my sister’s, which was a relief because she had great taste. As a pre-teen in middle school, I remember feeling securely confident in what I was wearing because it had the stamp of approval from my older sister.


Do you have an early memory of shopping?

My earliest memory is probably shopping at Mervyn’s with my mom and sister for school clothes. That never quite excited me, yet the adventures of skipping lunch to thrift shop at the Goodwill down the street from my high school was much more of a thrill.

"There’s something sweet about seeing someone else happy and radiant in a clothing item you no longer wear."


How did you get involved with Swap Society?

I met Nicole through a good friend I met in the sustainability community in Los Angeles!

I love supporting women-founded businesses, especially within sustainable fashion.


What is your favorite thing about swapping instead of shopping?

It’s a special feeling when you donate an awkwardly fitting dress that you’ve had hidden in your closet to another woman who now wears it with utter confidence. So often I’ve had pieces stuck in my closet for years, but once I hand it over to a friend, it grants a new life. There’s something sweet about seeing someone else happy and radiant in a clothing item you no longer wear.


How has your style changed since you started swapping?

I’m much more likely to take risks! Swapping is affordable and feels a lot like destiny when something special pops on your radar. To me, it’s magical trying on clothing from other awesome women in the area, vs. ordering something straight from a factory.

 

Audrey StantonAudrey Stanton was born and raised in the Bay Area and is currently based in Los Angeles. She has attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, London College of Fashion, and received a BFA in costume design from the California Institute of the Arts. Audrey is deeply passionate about conscious fashion and hopes to continue to spread awareness and love for ethical consumption. Visit her blog audstant.com and follow her on Instagram for lots of #slowfashion inspiration!


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